Here's a collection of the most frequently asked questions regarding more general matters we get.
- What is overclocking?
- Is it legal?
- Is it dangerous?
- How about my computers warranty?
- But what's the downsides then?
- So how do I get started?
What is overclocking?
Overclocking is when you run a piece of hardware faster than what it is specified to run by the manufacturer.
When hardware manufacturers design
hardware, they design it to run at a given frequency. In the case of the Intel
Celeron, this CPU is designed to run at a frequency of around 500MHz. But
instead of just selling their CPU's at the 500MHz frequency, they make slower
models, to fill in the budget market demand for cheap CPU's. This way, even the
300MHz Celeron is designed to run at 500Mhz. What the clever buyer then do, is
to buy the 300MHz version and run it at 500MHz, which was the speed the chip was
designed to run at anyway.
Because this is not a perfect world, Intel also produces some bad chips that won't able to run at the 500MHz, and they will then be sold as slower models (eg. 300MHz). Most of their CPU's however, are good quality and are able to run at 500 or even 600MHz.
Is it legal?
Yes! It's you hardware, and you can do with it as you please.
Is it dangerous?
Well, as long as you take a number of precautions it's quite safe. The key factor here is to use sufficient cooling, and not doing anything foolish like raising the voltage more than 20% above the default setting.
How about my computers warranty??
That depends on where you
bought it. Some companies specialize
in selling overclocking guarantied systems, but if it's not explicitly written about
it, you might void the warranty on
your CPU or system.
There's no way for the manufacturer to tell if the CPU has been overclocked though, but if you were to damage your CPU (highly unlikely though), you should tell the manufacturer that you were overclocking it, when you report the error.
Anything else would be unethical.
But what's the downsides then?
You'll get a faster system for less money. You'll be able to brag about having the fastest computer in your neighborhood. You'll... Ohh no, that the upsides. Hmm... The downsides? Well your computer might not "live" as long as if not overclocked, you might get a noisier system (If no thought was given to noise, when you bought the equipment). Other than that, we can't think of anything else.
So how do I get started?
We suggest you read through
the entire FAQ. After you've done that, you should have the knowledge to start overclocking your
system. If you have any doubts after that, you could try addressing the question
to one of the overclocking newsgroups (alt.comp.hardware.overclocking
if you have an AMD CPU). They should be able to give you guidance in the
different overclocking techniques.
Best of luck!
More to come...